BirkenEd’s Place – Final Engagement and Events

23rd March 2023

Yesterday was the final day of BirkenEd’s Place as we close for Purdah. It was an amazing pilot! We’d like to thank all who have been involved in the journey – we truly appreciate your support. During our final two weeks in BirkenEd’s Place, we have been continuing our engagement for the Birkenhead Waterfront and Surrounds project. The project is in its third phase of engagement and over the last two weeks we have received many insightful, valuable comments and suggestions which add further detail to the feedback we have already heard in previous phases. Alongside our Birkenhead Waterfront engagement, our final two weeks in the space have been filled with activities and special events.

On Wednesday 15th March, BirkenEd’s Place hosted a U-Boat Story Presentation Evening. This was led by Big Heritage and Mathew Giles and Matthew Ashton of MGMA Architects. The evening focused on the new designs and ideas for the U-Boat Story in Birkenhead (or the International Battle of the Atlantic Centre as it may be known) and it was extremely well attended. We eventually added more free tickets as the demand was so great.

Wirral Metropolitan College BA Illustration and Animation students Kate, Reilley and Freya were back in the space last Saturday delivering another free art workshop for young people aged between 13-18 years old. In their previous workshop, they focused on still life drawing and in this second workshop, they looked at Sketchbook Making and Book Binding. The workshop was a great success again with many young people in attendance who enjoyed getting creative but also having a space to socialise and connect on a Saturday afternoon. Thank you to the students for co-ordinating and delivering these art workshops for young people in Birkenhead – their value as spaces for creativity in the community as well as social spaces for young people has been demonstrable.

We were delighted to be joined for a second time by pupils and staff from Woodlands Primary School. Like our previous primary school workshops, we were exploring in this session what things young people like and don’t like about streets and public spaces in Birkenhead and what they would like to see in them in the future. Pupils were asked to draw a journey they would normally take (i.e., walking from home to school) and draw pictures of the worst and best parts. The pupils then got to demonstrate their creative talents for the main part of the workshop, producing models of streets and public spaces that they would like to see in Birkenhead. Big thanks to the pupils of Woodlands Primary for their excellent behaviour and to staff for supporting the workshop.

On Tuesday 21st March, we delivered a workshop in partnership with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Wirral Council. The event saw a great turn out from colleagues at Sefton Council, Halton Borough Council, Knowsley Council and St Helens Council as well as Wirral and Liverpool City Region. It was such a positive session with a brilliant group working to involving their communities in the transformational projects that are taking place in the City Region. It was wonderful to hear everyone sharing their experiences of engagement, learning from one another and making new contacts. We also shared some of our own top tips and observations from our experience over the years. Massive thank you to all who came and participated.

Thank you to our volunteers who have supported in the space over our final two weeks – Peter O’Connor, James Hurley, David Marsh, Tom Roberts, Chris Han, Gabi Wydrzynska, Olivia Atkinson, Jay Orritt, Alice Gallerato and Dan Levers.

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